May 29

james dean

So what is the difference between High School cool and Adult cool? Well we define our own brand of cool when we become confident in our own skin (if you’re lucky), confident in our career, and confident in our love life. Adult cool can be the 40 yr. old father who still dresses like the cool cats of his day, or it can be the child-at-heart uncle who delights in doing projects around his house. Cool is a mindset, it is confidence, and adult cool to us here at the Hall of The Black Dragon is when you get to the point where nobody  can question your sense of style, you are good where you are.

Teenage cool however is being accepted by everyone else, it’s a tribal type of mentality where you do things to be seen as normal by others. Many adults are still stuck in this mindset worrying a bit too much about how people view them as opposed to doing their thing and shining on their own merit. How much easier to your life would it be to have your own sense of style, where another adult can say “you know what? That damn Jim is one cool sunovabitch”?

Playing competitive dresser or that guy who tries too hard to be cool will lead to more resentment than acceptance from outsiders. When you get past the age of 22 (since College still yields a very High School type of mentality) it can become a rude awakening on how little other people think about you, your style, or your life. It’s a cold, cold world but the coolest people are still respected for being level-headed. These people are cool to themselves though, they don’t do it out of effort or want for other people’s acceptance.

Celebrity cool on a budget

One of the driving forces of faux cool by adults is in our bootleg copying of celebs in every facet we find attractive. When “cool” rappers began to brag about driving Bentleys, regular adults ran out and bought Chrystler 300s (an affordable car that loos similar). Women dress the way they see the hottest celebs on the red carpet for Oscars, they want red-bottom shoes because Mariah Carey has them. Many of us do these things without even thinking about them.

The word cool historically has been associated with smoking, drinking brown liquor, and not giving a damn about a bitching wife. Cool was the guy with the afro, dressed to a tee, in shades slapping fives and yelling “right on” during the blaxpoitation era. Cool is cultural, it is what people strive to be for the ultimate acceptance in society. Cool was Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli but unfortunately folks, all of these brands of cool is reminiscent of the non-adult kind… do you agree? Happy Days was meant to be High School, black folks were just generally viewed as cool to outsiders in the 70’s and James Dean posing like a million bucks is a swagger that most men will never have… James Dean was James Dean.

Adult cool is what we should strive for instead of being a cheap knock-off of our celebrity heroes. Adult cool is being that guy who doesn’t stress the big things but handles them in his own way until they are solved. Adult cool is a lady finding ways to effortlessly make her outfits work so that she looks good always. Adult cool is truly what you make it in order to be good with yourself in a manner of confidence and comfort.

To truly grow up is to drop the trifles that no longer matter and move on to being comfortable doing what it is that makes us happy.

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  • Neil

    “Teenage cool however is being accepted by everyone else, it’s a tribal type of mentality where you do things to be seen as normal by others.”

    Truth! I had a couple of friends who used to joke and call me, “Old Man”, because I would wear slacks, suits and ties (ALOT)…..and was barely in my 20’s. I like dressin’ SHARP……I’m now in my 40s and I see more cats my age and a lil younger (30+)…dressin’ like the High Schoolers………

    Brilliant Post, Greg!

    • You know I wrote this after looking around at many of my fellow upper 30’s keeping the trend of impressing others with their dress to no avail. You would think that by now something would click in their minds that the latest fad on a grown man is seen more as immature than stylish to the people they aim to impress in the first place.

      I will never forget one of my older professors wearing baggy jeans to school back at my University and how absolutely ridiculous it seemed even though that was how we dressed. We didn’t want him to dress like an old man but at the same time we couldn’t understand him keeping up with us.

      You have to be yourself, even as a teen because like you it builds a kind of character and confidence that the fad-chasing hecklers will not understand until it’s too late. for any young people reading this I hope that point is driven home… High School is 4 years of heaven or hell for students, but that’s it… you still have 70+ years of life outside of those walls and the real world respects confidence, not your ability to look like a Kanye West knockoff.

      Thanks for commenting Neil, I was an old man in school too lol.